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Pan's Labyrinth (2006)



Average Rating: 8.6/10
Reviews Counted: 208
Fresh: 199 | Rotten: 9

Pan's Labyrinth is Alice in Wonderland for grown-ups, with the horrors of both reality and fantasy blended together into an extraordinary, spellbinding fable.


Average Rating: 9/10
Critic Reviews: 47
Fresh: 47 | Rotten: 0

Pan's Labyrinth is Alice in Wonderland for grown-ups, with the horrors of both reality and fantasy blended together into an extraordinary, spellbinding fable.



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Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 627,316

My Rating

Movie Info

Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro returns to the phantasmagorical cinema that defined such early fare as Cronos and The Devil's Backbone with this haunting fantasy-drama set in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and detailing the strange journeys of an imaginative young girl who may be the mythical princess of an underground kingdom. Her mother, Carmen (Ariadna Gil), recently remarried to sadistic army captain Vidal (Sergi Lpez) and soon to bear the cruel military man's child, shy young


Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Guillermo del Toro

May 18, 2007


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All Critics (208) | Top Critics (47) | Fresh (199) | Rotten (9) | DVD (33)

Guillermo del Toro has crafted a masterpiece, a terrifying, visually wondrous fairy tale for adults that blends fantasy and gloomy drama into one of the most magical films to come along in years.

November 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Associated Press
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is a fantasy realm so fully and elegantly realized, it might be the adaptation of a classic novel. Yet the source is Del Toro's own capacious imagination.

November 26, 2012 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Pan's Labyrinth suggests that fairy-tale violence helps the vulnerable process and overcome real-life conflicts and that real-life violence permanently smashes the soul and the heart.

August 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

So breathtaking in its artistic ambition, so technically accomplished, so morally expansive, so fully realized that it defies the usual critical blather. See it, and celebrate that rare occasion when a director has the audacity to commit cinema.

February 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Del Toro specializes in taking horror and superhero films to bold, baroque places, yet Pan's Labyrinth is a step above his usual forays into the fantastic.

February 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A violent fantasy set during the Spanish Civil War, this magical film from Guillermo del Toro manages that intellectual high-mindedness, even as it resonates on a primal, mythic level.

January 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Grotesque and macabre thrills here, but not a fantasy-masterpiece. There's a drawn-out-ness to the plot that extends to the time-period being overdrawn. Captain Vidal's an overstated fatherland fascist; the political history becomes morbid melodrama.

December 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

This remarkable film spins a yarn about a little girl trapped between a dream world of ghouls and real-life monsters during the Spanish Civil War, and it works remarkably well, simultaneously enchanting and horrifying with almost every frame.

November 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

This grim spin on Alice in Wonderland is del Toro's finest work to date.

November 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Pan is clearly not for kids. But it is an eye-popping political fable filled with magic realism -- and real magic.

November 26, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

A stark, disturbing fairy story for adults. Its provocative vision of the monsters of fascism and childhood packs chilling power.

November 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

This darkly attractive film has a painterly quality to its visual look and some impressively elaborate animatronic effects that will delight genre fans.

November 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Screen International
Screen International

Both magical and brutal, del Toro's film is a memorable exploration of the enduring power of fairytales.

November 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine Australasia
Empire Magazine Australasia

The close-out of Pan's Labyrinth not only underlines its status as one of the great fantasy films of all time, but also its importance as a work of refined social and historical commentary.

November 19, 2010 Full Review Source:

a captivating, albeit unstable, blend of anti-Fascist social commentary and a visually sumptuous childhood fable

August 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

Fully deserving of its place in a distinguished political-fabulist lineage

August 28, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

Ofelia's smock is swiped from Alice, her faun from Narnia, and her magic book from Harry Potter, Del Toro sets her fairytale apart with its unrelenting gore and misery.

May 15, 2009 Full Review Source: I.E. Weekly | Comments (59)
I.E. Weekly

One of the best films made in the last ten years...

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Arresting though they may be, these mind-boggling effects, shot with limpid mystery by Guillermo Navarro and accompanied by chitinous whirs and crackles on the uncanny soundtrack, don't disrupt the double narrative but intensify it.

April 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Pan's Labyrinth is a punishing, evocative poem. It is part ferocious reality and part fearful fantasy.

February 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Fayetteville Free Weekly
Fayetteville Free Weekly

Pan's Labyrinth us that such fantasy offers no real escape from dreadful reality.

July 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinefantastique

...a dark and wonderful fairy tale for grown-ups...

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source:

It's an odd mixture, and one which many prospective viewers may feel uncertain about, but it's very much worth watching.

December 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

Audience Reviews for Pan's Labyrinth

Finally got around to watching this in November 2013!! Late to the party I know. This film was very well rounded and pieced together. It's not often (or ever) that an adult/mature fairy tale film is made that garners such high scores and ratings. The thing I loved the most about this film though, was the emphasis on making "El Capitan" such an evil character. Antagonists will be antagonists in every film, but the role of Vidal was excellent.
November 21, 2013
Eric Alvarez

Super Reviewer

Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth lives up to its "fairytale for adults" tagline.Running at 110 minutes, there are roughly 2 plot lines running in parallel; the military-resistance story and the princess fantasy story. Both move back and forth as needed; although it feels as if the fantasy portion ends up as the lesser of the two, which is a disappointment because it holds more entertainment value.The creature effects are fantastic and smothered with creepiness from top to bottom. The violence is harsh and definitely worthy of its R-rating.A little bland in nature, Ivana Baquero is still adorable on screen. Sergi Lopez is one brutal and cold-hearted jerk; just as his character is written. Doug Jones pulls off the creatures without fail.Pan's Labyrinth takes it slow at times, but it is a well directed piece from start to finish.
August 25, 2013
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

Despite being quite a prominent name in cinema just now, director Guillermo del Toro hasn't actually made that many movies. He came to attention in 1993 with his excellent feature debut "Cronos" before Hollywood quickly took note and employed him on such films as "Mimic" and "Blade II". However, his strengths lie in his own original work where he retains creative control. Of which, there are three that really stand out; the aforementioned "Cronos" is one, "The Devil's Backbone" another and "Pan's Labyrinth" - which to this day, remains his masterpiece.
Following the Spanish Civil War in 1944, young Ofelia (Baquero) moves to a rural town with her pregnant mother (Gil) to live with her Fascist military stepfather (López) who is determined to weed out resistance fighters to Franco's dictatorship. It's in this remote town that Ofelia meets a faun in the centre of a labyrinth who tells her that she is a princess. However, to claim her rightful place in this magical land she must perform certain gruesome tasks to prove her royalty.
It's hard to pigeon hole a film like Pan's Labyrinth as there are so many facets to it's structure. On the one hand, it's a political/historical drama and on the other it's a fantasy/horror. Few (if any) films will spring to mind when these genres are mentioned in the same breath which reflects the very craftsmanship that's at work here. One thing that you can undoubtedly count on, though, is it's highly imaginative nature. Sure, we've had fantastical stories before where a young girl escapes her constrained life to enter bigger and more possible worlds. We've also had commentaries on the brutalities and restrictions of fascist regimes but to combine them into a wondrous journey of life, struggle and imagination is an amalgamation that I have rarely witnessed. Such is the case with this film and such is the skill of del Toro in his writing and handling of the material. He incorporates an abundance of childhood fantasies, from delving into books and mythology - that feature fauns and fairies - to the power of a piece of chalk on the wall. This may be built around the point of view of a child's eye but its also not afraid to explore the darker recesses of that very imagination and construct some of the most monstrous creatures that can inhabit that realm. Del Toro is in absolute command here and he's aided, immeasurably, by cinematographer Guillermo Navarro in capturing and contrasting his world within a world; one is a visually striking and enchanting fantasia, the other a stark and brutal reality. It's a balance that's difficult to achieve but with deft handling of coexisting genres, del Toro's vision is able to come to fruition and manages to be both a reminder of the rigidity of fascism and the escapable ability of an imaginary youthful mind.
To embody the young protagonist, we are gifted an outstanding performance from Ivana Baquero who carries a heavy weight on her young shoulders and does so, with a skill beyond her years. Sergi Lopez also provides marvellous support as the bestial Captain Vidal who's a smouldering villain that's on a par with any of the war genre's nastiest characters.
It's very difficult to find criticism in this film as there simply, isn't any. The only one that stands is in the film's title. It's slightly misleading as "Pan" never actually features here. The original international title translates as "Labyrinth of the Fuan" which is probably the most pedantic gripe you'll ever hear from me.
A stunning piece of work that's both beautifully and horrifically executed. Modern masterpiece is a term that gets brandished around too often these days but this is one that's certainly deserving of such praise.

Mark Walker
March 28, 2013

Super Reviewer

Detailed review to follow.
January 26, 2013
Paulo Gabuat

Super Reviewer

    1. Vidal: You could have obeyed me!
    2. Doctor: But Captain, to obey, just like that, for obedience's sake... without questioning... That's something only people like you do.
    – Submitted by Typhon Q (17 months ago)
    1. Ofelia: Many, many years ago in a sad, faraway land, there was an enormous mountain made of rough, black stone. At sunset, on top of that mountain, a magic rose blossomed every night that made whoever plucked it immortal. But no one dared go near it because its thorns were full of poison. Men talked amongst themselves about their fear of death, and pain, but never about the promise of eternal life. And every day, the rose wilted, unable to bequeath its gift to anyone... forgotten and lost at the top of that cold, dark mountain, forever alone, until the end of time.
    – Submitted by Dov D (18 months ago)
    1. Carmen: You're getting older, and you'll see that life isn't like your fairy tales. The world is a cruel place. And you'll learn that, even if it hurts.
    – Submitted by Dov D (18 months ago)
    1. Pan / Pale Man: And it is said that the Princess returned to her father's kingdom. That she reigned there with justice and a kind heart for many centuries. That she was loved by her people. And that she left behind small traces of her time on Earth, visible only to those who know where to look.
    – Submitted by Dov D (18 months ago)
    1. Ofelia: [to the giant toad] Hello, I am Princess Moanna, and I am not afraid of you.
    – Submitted by Dov D (18 months ago)
    1. Pan / Pale Man: A long time ago, in the underground realm, where there are no lies or pain, there lived a Princess who dreamed of the human world. She dreamed of blue skies, soft breeze, and sunshine. One day, eluding her keepers, the Princess escaped. Once outside, the brightness blinded her and erased every trace of the past from her memory. She forgot who she was and where she came from. Her body suffered cold, sickness, and pain. Eventually, she died. However, her father, the King, always knew that the Princess' soul would return, perhaps in another body, in another place, at another time. And he would wait for her, until he drew his last breath, until the world stopped turning...
    – Submitted by Typhon Q (20 months ago)
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Foreign Titles

  • Pans Labyrinth (DE)
  • Pan's Labyrinth (UK)
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